"Futaba Town, Fukushima prefecture had a quiet beach surrounded by
However the tsunami in 2011 hardly hit the coast line and it became an
evacuation area by following the Fukushima nuclear power plant melt down.
I used to be there from time to time. Of course, it's long time before
the accident. Friends of mine in the collage were separated for the job
in Tokyo and Tohoku area after graduation. Futaba, Tomioka, Naraha ....
the area called Hamadori of Fukushima pref was perfect location for reunion.
Because it's equally distant from everybody. There was one more reason
we favored the Hamadori area was those towns had a tidy public camping
facility. It's not so crowded even in holiday, well organized, reasonable
and easy to get foodstuff at a super market in town.
Why the small towns had good recreational facilities? Why the towns of
aging population got a brand-new athletic track or indoor swimming pool?
I think we knew the reason. It must be a subsidy for the nuke plant. I
clearly remember that at a camping site we got orientation and manager
described us with full of pride "This facility was built for 3.3 million
dollars" The neighbors also looked well off. It's a little bit later
I actually heard from one of resident "The financial aid is of great
help for our living and local economy"
So what's the purpose of the subsidy in truth? Was it compensation for
building the dangerous nuke plant? Or insurance for an accident with possibility
of several million times to one. Although the government and Tokyo Electric
Power Company swore to the neighbors "The serious accident won't happen"
However the power plant has been easily broken by the earthquake and tsunami.
The environment was heavily polluted by radioactivity. The people got the
radiation, lost their home, life and health. The subsidy should have been
saved for this kind of situation? "Oh, but we've spent all the money.
Cos you said a fatal accident would never occur"
Well, sounds so reckless. But I guess the agreement let the government
to build the power plant for the financial aid is not current resident's
decision but their predecessor's. They must just took over the policy.
Meanwhile we ourselves used the leisure facilities for relaxation and the
electricity which was produced in the Fukushima nuke plant without any
questions. After all we think it's OK if the resident got a better off
with the bunch of money.
However we completely changed our thought for a nuke plant after the very
day of the fatal accident. It's far from safe and once accident happen
a country will be polluted by radiation. Yeah, we cannot change half-life
of radioactive substance with any technology. Decontamination doesn't mean
diminishing it forever but moving it to somewhere else. May be desposed
in a landfill. May sink down to the ground water. Then it will flow into
the sea. The people I met on the planet was more worry about its bad effect
for world environment than the damage by tsunami in Japan. "That must
not be under control in truth, uh?" Somebody asked me in serious.
No, it isn't under control at all. I'm sure.
400 tons per day. It's amount of increasing contaminated water from the
Fukushima plant. Recently on the day typhoon's passed by, TEPCO announced
contamination reached record high at the observation well on the seaside
of the plant. Cesium: 251 thousands Becquerels /L. Tritium: 150 thousands
Becquerels /L. Strontium: 7.8million Becquerels /L. The well can access
to the sea water by trench. Nevertheless this kind of trivial report never
becomes even TV news now in Japan. Eventually we Japanese have eaten a
fish or vegetable that we don't know radioactive free or not. For a while
after the accident, I try to buy safer food by looking up the data of radioactive
test. But from some point, no data has got being indicated anymore. The
contamination got to reference range, I guessed, although it didn't mean
radiation free. I had to give up checking the contamination. Some people
got tired to take care of it. Others never care of radiation from the beginning.
After all we, Japanese don't know how much we've got radiation for last
three and half years.
I heard the number of the earthquake-related death, people who passed away
after earthquake cased by loosing their health or committing suicides for
example, passed over the death by the earthquake itself. The facts may
not be known out side of Japan. Japanese often face off from tough reality
and tend to describe it smaller. Far from under controll, Japan, especially
people in Fukushima, still signal SOS to the world.
The Fukushima nuke plant issue is something like a puppet show. TEPCO doll
is put on the government's right hand. On the other hand, Nuclear Regulatory
Commission doll is on. After the accident, all the blame from the audience
(people) put on the TEPCO doll. NRC was organized for inspecting the accident
and making new safety standard of nuke plant. Well, if they are completely
independent, the Fukushima's disposal would go in better way. However a
private company TEPCO did not go bankrupt but taken over by the Japanese
government. Meanwhile NRC was organized under the cabinet itself and now
NRC is permitting resuming operations at other nuke plant in Japan.
If TEPCO was ended up a bankrupcy, I think it should have been, people's
anger aimed at the government's fault directly. Because all the nuke plant
project for last decades was executed by the current political party. Meantime
if NRC had independence, and was square, it must not permit to resume the
nuke eneregy policy any more.
The doll on the right hand took a role of villain while the doll on the
left hand pretends a square judge. However we have to know whose hands
the puppets are on. The person behind the dolls must grins pretending non
of their business. "All the faults are on TEPCO. And NRC shows the
signal green for restarting the nuke plant. Let's keep on going, and sell
the Japan's nuke technology to developing countries.
Declaring the Fukushima is under control and promoting the nuke business, the behavior of Japanese government looks so insincere for international society. More over I even doubt the sense of ethics.
At the beginning, Japanese government explained the reason why they have
to restart a nuke plant despite such a fatal accident was for stability
of power supply. Actually just after the accident, possibility of the shortage
was announced, and we felt really inconvenient under government planed
power outage. However now we can use electricity without inconvenience
nevertheless all the nuke plants in Japan have been stopped for more than
three years after the accident.
I have experienced power failure by electric shortage in some countries.
I was almost falling into a pit hole on the pavement in the black-out night. I was almost dying by food poison eating tainted meat when a refrige was
stopped by power failure. However for fifty years, I have never experienced a power failure caused
on electric shortage here in Japan. Of course it included the earth quake
Looking back the Fukushima plant accident, it might be a good chance to
know Japan's limit of electric usage. We should have tested how much we
could use the electricity until the breaker's down. But in spite of that,
Japanese made a patience in the dim and hot commuter train. Stores shorten
the opening hours and lessen their sales. We believed in daily public announcements
for saving electricity and followed it. After all, we don't know whether
we were really in the crisis of electric shortage or government's trick
for leading the people to the nuke project keep going on. We wouldn't know
the truth forever just like how much we've got the radiation so far.
And now the cabinet who want to restart the nuke plants put the another
reason to support it. "Energy cost are going higher without nuke plants.
It also push up the Japan's trade deficit. In the end, your electricity
bill will be higher. Is it OK for you?" Sounds like a threat. But
they may not be all evil. They can try to increase major companies' profits
by cheaper Yen. They must try to lessen the energy cost by resuming nuke
However remember, we got huge bad mark on 3.11.2011. The country which
had the catastrophic disaster may re-start without learning anything from
that? Should we make the same goal, same industrial and economical strategy,
same construction priority politics and energy consumption?
I visited Fukushima prefecture after some years absence. I drove express
way from Shirakawa to Iwaki. Even becoming a toll free, the brand new express
way had no traffic except me and mildly winding in the greens of Abukuma
mountains. The nature of Fukushima looked no change before and after the
I got off the exp. way. The declining sun light spotted the plant trees
on the hills. On the back ground, I saw giant power cables which just passing
by the local area. In Iwaki city more often I saw signs of road blocking
for the Fukushima nuke plant area. I was drawn back to the reality.
Although few days later, I read the news the road was opened all the way
through the contaminated area. Everything is treated as used to be as if
nothing was happen on 3.11.2011.
" Passing power cables" Fukushima, Japan 2014